Tuesday, 25 March 2014

"Draught and Dray" Painting the horse drawn dray of Harvey's Brewery

Harveys brewery, Lewes, Sussex
My favourite subjects to paint are the ones  that mix nostalgia with  modern day scenes .
I'm also very partial to a good ale! So imagine my delight when I discovered that my local brewery Harveys had reintroduced the brewery dray cart.
It was originally brought in for the Queen's visit last October but was so popular that they decided to keep using it for deliveries and special occasions.
Photo courtesy of Maple Leaf Carriages

The dray has not been used by the brewery for over a hundred years and well suits the historic streets of Lewes.
                                      The brewery...
Harveys is a family run brewery that has been around since 1790 . Situated in the center of the town the building is a very impressive landmark situated on the banks of the river Ouse. For more details please visit their website http://www.harveys.org.uk/the-brewery

                                       The horses...
The horses are supplied by Maple Leaf Carriage Company. A lovely pair of Shire horses called
 Monty and Winston. They  look splendid and of course enjoy the odd tipple now and again !
Monty and Winston enjoying a well earned pint...gallon!
 
The dray...
The dray  is beautifully built and painted, laden with the barrels of beer it is a wonderful sight to see on the streets.
These are all topped off with a large comfortable cushion where you will find Barney enjoying the scenery ... I'm sure he gets a lot of attention too!
Harveys dray
Of course being "top dog" means proudly wearing your best Harveys coat !
Barney helping with the beer delivery. Photo courtesy of Jon Tooley

                                           The painting...
                                     "Draught and Dray"
Work in progress...Acrylic on box canvas 18"x 24"x 1.5"
 It's rather a complicated painting with lots of detail so it's going to take quite a while to complete.
I'm on my third day of painting, gradually building up the layers of colour so that I can work on the detail. 
 
Work in progress "Draught and Dray"

 I made good progress today. The painting is starting to come together now. Tomorrow I should be able to start on the finer details where I'm happy with the depth of colour. I shall also make a start on the remaining areas.
The painting is now starting to come togeher
It's felt like slow progress today as I've been adding some of the finer detail. The harness is almost completed and I've started work on the other horse...
Starting to paint in some detail and the second horse
Well, after many hours of painting I have finally completed the picture. It's been a delightful subject to paint !
                                                  "Draught and Dray"
                                Acrylic on box canvas 18"x 24"x 1.5"
The Harveys dray with Monty and Winston


Monday, 3 March 2014

"Lancing downland" painting the landscape around the Adur district of Sussex

Views from above North Lancing, Sussex
The other day my sister and I were discussing where to go for our next walk. The weather forecast for the following day was for bright sunshine, a rare opportunity not to be missed!
By pure coincidence , whilst we were talking, I received an e mail with a request to paint a downland landscape from the area around Lancing in West Sussex.
 Perfect timing!
I don't know the area other than a couple of visits to Shoreham so I was delighted to have a reason to explore somewhere new along the South downs.
After a good scout around on the internet I found a promising circular walk from the Argus
http://www.theargus.co.uk/magazine/sussex_walks/west_sussex_walks/4539217.Lancing_Ring_Nature_Reserve_Circular/
It started from the lancing ring nature reserve and took us up over the downs where we enjoyed some wonderful and expansive views of the Sussex Weald and the coast. My sister has details of the walk on her blog ( See link below)
As forecast it was a beautiful Spring day so we set off  with camera, map and a packet of Jaffa cakes !
The brief was to try and incorporate views of the sea but unfortunately the direction of the sun meant that the photos were not clear and usable.
However, after 4.5 miles of walking some very steep slopes (and an empty Jaffa cake packet) we returned home with plenty of photos of our explorations.
Views from our walk at lancing

 It was decided to go with a delightful view that captured the curvacious landscape of the chalk land  hills,with distant views towards Beeding Hill and the Sussex Weald.

Firstly the composition was sketched out and the hazy views of Upper Beeding and the South downs were painted in as they disappear into distance.
Sketched out and painting in the Sussex Weald view
Next I concentrated on the variety of greens that create the fields and slopes of "Winding Bottom" with it's white chalk pathways .
Painting in the green fields and pastures
Then with a very small brush the earthy colours of the ploughed field were built up in many layers and work began on  the foliage
The ploughed field is added to the painting
I have now started to add the chalk and grass field on the right hand side. I need to leave this area to dry before I can progress with it so I moved on to the finer details of the trees and placed in where the fence posts will go.
Painting in the first layers of the grass and chalk field

Finally,  after 5 hours painting with a brush with just 2 hairs on it , I have added the grass and finished the painting....
                                            "Lancing Downland"
                                        Acrylic on box canvas 24"x 18"x 1.5"
lancing Downland
 
The walk took us around the edge of a valley where right in the middle stands a barn. Due to the contours of the landscape it would disappear as if by magic then reappear further along the way.
I loved the way it was situated among the wonderful sloping patterns of the fields.
It just had to be painted!
                                                 "Valley Barn"
                                       Acrylic on box canvas 18"x 14"x 1.5"
"Valley Barn" Lancing

You can find out more about our walk and the photos taken on my sister's blog
http://woolwhiskerswalks.blogspot.co.uk/